Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal talked about religious liberty on NBC's Meet the Press this morning:
"Well let me ask you this," Todd said. "Do you agree with some other folks and conservatives that you think Governor Pence and Governor Hutchinson in Arkansas and Indiana have essentially caved too much pressure?"
"Well, Chuck, I was very worried about the law in Indiana. I’m disappointed. Let’s remember what this debate was originally all about," Jindal responded.
This is about business owners that don’t want to have to choose between their Christian faith, their sincerely held religious beliefs, and being able to operate their businesses. Now, what they don’t want is the government to force them to participate in wedding ceremonies that contradict their beliefs.
They simply want the right to say, “We don’t want to be forced to participate in those ceremonies.” I was disappointed that you could see Christians and their businesses face discrimination in Indiana. I hope the legislators will fix that and rectify that.
Chuck, there used to be a bipartisan consensus in this country around religious liberty saying that as Americans, we don’t all have to agree with each other but we should respect each other’s rights and freedoms. And that’s what this debate is really about. Are we going to use government to force people to contradict their own sincerely held beliefs?
Todd asked, "The debate, I guess, is about the line on freedom and a personal conviction versus how you conduct yourself in a business. So you think it’s okay, based on religious conviction, for a business to deny services to a same sex couple?"
Jindal replied, "We’re not talking about restaurants denying service to people who want to come and have dinner. We’re not talking about day-to-day, routine commercial transactions.
"We’re talking about a very specific example here of business owners, of florists, of musicians, of caterers who are being forced to either pay thousands of dollars or close their businesses if they don’t want to participate in a wedding ceremony that contradicts their religious beliefs.
"So in that instance, I think that part of the First Amendment means that we allow individuals to obey their consciences and obey their religious beliefs. I think that’s a part of religious liberty in America."
I was on my way out of class when my social welfare and policy professor casually called me over to tell me this. The friendliness of her tone did not match her words, and I attempted a shocked, confused apology. It was my first semester at the Hunter College School of Social Work, and I was as yet unfamiliar with the consistent, underlying threat that characterized much of the school’s policy and atmosphere. This professor was simply more open and direct than most.
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